Wednesday, 31 December 2014

31st December - Happy New Year To All

The weather since Christmas has been cold, frosty but with some beautiful sunshine.  The mornings have all been like this.



We have taken the opportunity to venture further a field, and the cold clear weather produced a wonderful day at Titchfield Haven, the details of which can be seen on the Away Blog.

As we reach the end of the year it is a time to look back on the past 12 months and look forward to the New Year and all it brings.  As far as the patch is concerned it would be nice to get that one hundredth bird, and there surely will be plenty of opportunity.

But for now lets look back on the last twelve months, and enjoy once again the amazing nature that can be found around Four Marks, if you just get out there and look


video

The music?  Well it is by Dean Wareham, and is called "Happy and Free (Jim James Remix)", somehow it just seemed appropriate.

The new year is a time for pondering and taking new decisions for the coming year.  I have intensely walked the patch for three years now, and I have enjoyed every minute of it, finding unusual things and watching the years unfold, however I now feel that I need to branch out a bit more.  I will not be abandoning Four Marks, far from it, but I want to spend a little more time enjoying nature further a field, there are many sites in Hampshire that I would like to see at the different times of the year, and of course beyond.  I will keep the "Around Four Marks" blog going, but may not be writing so many posts.  The "Away Blog" will record those days away from Four Marks, and I hope they will provide some interesting reading, and of course photographs


Happy New Year and I look forward to sharing my stories with you all in 2015.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

27th December - The Sound of The Trains in The Distance

Well that is that for another year, as long as it takes to prepare the inverse is how quickly it is gone!  Christmas Day was a lovely day, cold clear and sunny.  The garden was busy all day, the starlings the main event supported well by feisty little Goldfinches. I was lucky enough to see a Sparrowhawk zip through, coming over the fence, dropping low over the lawn and then turning sharply through an impossibly small gap in the hedge and away. The small birds scattered and were successful in evading this wonderfully agile hunter.

There were two predictions on Christmas Eve, one that the snowman would be gone by Boxing Day, and that the Redwings would start in force on the berries on the tree across the road.  Both were wrong, although the snowman is just hanging on, and the berries were visited by the Redwing but not in sufficient numbers to clean out the tree.


It was a cold bleak day with a very fresh northerly wind.  A Red Kite had been over the house during the morning, probably looking out for bits of left over turkey.

The morning had been sunny but by the time we set off to blow the cobwebs away the clouds had rolled in.  We walked up Brislands, and came across a Rook with a deformed bill, in comparison with the other Rook, both mandibles do not look right, but it does not seem to have stopped the Rook from growing and obviously it doesn't impact its chance of finding friends.


Once again the bird calls had fallen quiet, the cold meaning that they had to focus on finding food to keep warm.  As we came out into the open looking across the stubble field the colours in the ground contrasted with the grey of the trees and the sky.


We walked past the entrance to Old Down, just stopping briefly to watch a pair of Wrens calling.  As we headed down the lane towards the Soak, a pair of Jays flew ahead of us, and then started calling noisily in the tree by the side of the lane.  We stopped to see if we could get a view, several Woodpigeon flew out, then finally the Jays, and as I followed them I noticed a larger bird coming from the direction of Old Down.  It was a Red Kite, by the light chest and vent this is a juvenile bird, and probably the same one that was over the house earlier today.


The Kite drifted off towards the A31, and we walked on only to see a Kestrel hunting over the side of the hedgerow.


Once again it was so intent on hunting it allowed us to walk towards it getting a closer view.


There are no suitable posts or wires here, so it was dependent on hovering, which in this weather is not very efficient.

We headed down to the barns expecting to see and hear the house Sparrows, it was though very quiet.  As we walked past the barns Helen pointed out a single Sparrow in the hedge.


Closer inspection though revealed there to be quite a few in the hedge, they were just keeping quiet.

At the bottom of the hill we turned up towards Ropley.  A large flock of gulls, both Black-headed and Common drifted over heading towards the fields on the other side of the A31 with the sheep.


As we walked we could here the chuffing of the steam trains on the Watercress Line, and every so often there was the whistle that pierced the cold afternoon air.

Fieldfare were flying over, their chuckling calls giving them away, there were also a few Redwing seeps mixed in, but for once the dominant thrush was the Fieldfare.


The sun came out momentarily, and once again the low winter sunshine would set the tree tops with the Fieldfare in them a glow against the dark grey of the cold clouds.


The road side verge here is quite sheltered and is always one of the first places to find flowering Snow drops in the winter.  This year the mild November has sped them up, and the first flowers are just appearing, and it is not yet 2015.


As we walked towards the pond I noticed a distant bird, which turned out to be a Sparrowhawk.  A little further on, and it suddenly appeared closer causing the alarm calls to ring out from the hedgerows and trees.


Three raptors today, but no sign yet of the commonest.

The horse paddocks held a few Redwing and Blackbird, and as we turned down towards the school, a Mistle Thrush could be seen sitting on a roof.  It for once allowed me to get quite close.  The spots on a Mistle Thrush are round, where as those of a Song Thrush have the appearance of an arrow.  By the condition of the bill I would suggest this one had been in the horse paddock, and was now taking a rest.


We walked along Lymington Bottom, and the dark clouds in the distance threatened rain.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker called, and we found it in a Silver Birch tree.  For once this one was a male, the red visible on the back of the neck.


As we approached home the familiar silhouette appeared above the trees in Lymington Rise once more.  The Red Kite was back, I wonder if it does find food in the gardens?


Back home as I took off my boots I could hear the starlings chattering away in the trees around the garden.  They sit here and send little sorties down to the garden, they have been extremely entertaining this Christmas.


As the sun dropped and the we drank a warm cup of coffee the birds put in one final feeding frenzy.  Right on time the Long-tailed Tits arrived, I counted at least ten in this flock, but they never managed to cover the feeder in the same way as Christmas Eve.

This female Blackbird guarded this apple, chasing off anything that tried to have a slice.


As the rain came, and sun started to slip away the birds left the garden, and the only sound that could be heard was the whistles and puffing of the trains away in the distance.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

24th December - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet.....

Christmas time, and the snowman is back, the Starlings having already had a peck and squabble over it.  I can't see him making it past Boxing Day.


There was rain early on, so I waited before going out, the birds though were busy in the garden, with the usual high number of Goldfinches, and the squabbling Starlings.  I was fortunat though that when I looked out of the window I had the camera close.  A flock of Long-tailed  Tits had come through, I counted 15 in total.  But the reason for reaching for the camera  was because they all decided to flock on to the nibbles feeder.


I am not sure what the correct collective nound is for a flock of Long-tailed Tits is, but I would definitely like it to be a fluff!


The feeders though were not the only attraction , across the road the berries on the tree have finally caught the attention of the Blackbirds, and this Redwing


In fact as I set out for my walk I could hear Redwings calling, and several collecting in the trees close to the berries.  With the frost due tomorrow morning I would expect these to be a source of food for them over the next few days as they become less shy


I set off up Brislands, the rain had passed and the forecast was for it to become sunny.  the sun did come out, but there were also some very dark clouds away to the north.


A Robin sang from the hedge as I walked past, there was definitely much more activity than on Sunday.  As I walked I could hear the seeps of Redwings, the teacher calls of Great Tits, and every so often the chuckle of a Fieldfare


As I approached the wood I could see two Buzzards soaring above the trees.


Looking across towards the west, the clear blue sky was on the way, gradually squeezing out the dark ominous clouds


The entrance to Old Down, is now full of cut tree trunks waiting to be collected and moved away.  This is the largest amount I have seen here, hopefully an indication that the work is now complete.


There were more thrushes in the trees as I walked down the main path.  Mostly Redwing there were also a few Blackbirds and this single Song Thrush.


The Redwing were everywhere, and were joined by a sizeable flock of Chaffinches, that perched in the trees with the Redwing.


The area around the diagoonal path is now very open.  This though does allow you to see an awful lot more.  I coul hear a large tit flock, and picked them out in the branches.  They were mostly Great Tits, but there were also several Coal Tits, Goldcrests and this Treecreeper.


I could hear twigs breaking, and then saw a flash of white as a small group of Roe Deer moved through the wood.  As usual they stopped to watch me, unconcerned that I could be a threat.  There were five together, and while they are not Reindeer they did seem quite appropriate for the season.  Unfortunatly not enough to actually pull Santa's sleigh.


It is as if they hide behind the trees and then look out from the side, they all seem to do it.


There has been a lot of clearance, but it doesn't seem as drastic as last year.  Yes there is a lot of mud, but that was cleared up last time, and I am sure it will be again now.  There is a lot of foxgloves coming through, nd if they are allowed to grow I can see the wood looking spectacular in the summer.

The cleared areas are also good for the birds, they are much easier to see.  I walked to the crossroads, and then headed towards the cottage.  For the first time for a long time there were birds in the top of the Larch trees.  They were just Goldfinches, but it is start, pretty soon I am sure there will be Redpolls too.


I left the wood, and headed to the pond.  A Moorhen scuttled away from me and dissappeared into the iris bed.  I walked around the pond but couldn't find anything other than a pair of Mallard on the small pool at the back of the main pond.

I headed down the lane, and pused at the paddocks where there were birds feeding on the grass.  There were Blckbirds, chaffinches and a single Redwing.  The ones though that caught my eye was a pair of Mistle Thrushes.  They were feeding togther.  You can see the lovely spotted chest and belly.


Even though they were apart, they seen to be very feisty together, and this one turned on its partner when it tried to get too close.


In the hedgerow a male Chaffinch called from the centre of the bush.


I crossed the paddock and then out over the field.  There is still plenty of stubble about, and clearly plenty of food as the Rooks continue to flock here in large groups.


As I walked towards Old Down I flushed several Skylarks, and Meadow Pipits, their calls ringing out as their bouncy flight took them away from me.

I went back into the wood and took the perimeter path to the Gradwell entrance.  Just before I reached the exit I came across yet another tit flock, again mostly Great Tits, but as I waited others appered to, namely this Coal Tit, that was busy preening.


I left the wood and headed home.  A very festive post today, managing to get in Robins, Snowmen, and tenuous (rein) deer, as I walked home I wished for something in a Holly Bush.  A Mistle Thrush tried, but it didn't come out as a good picture, and then as I neared home this Robin obliged.


So Merry Christmas to all of those that I know who read this blog, and a Merry Christmas to all those of you who are also kind enough to read this blog and often comment, Have a great time all!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

23rd December - For The Love of Music

Throughout the year I have been using the lyrics from songs as titles that I have considered appropriate to the events of the post.  Some may have been obvious, some may be obscure, and some I may list a different artist to the one normally associated with the song, but that is my prerogative.

After my love of the outdoors comes my love for Sport and Music, neither is that far away for me, and they have all become an integral part of my life.  

So here for the record is where all those titles came from:


21st December - Winter Is The Glad Song That You Hear -  “Solstice Bells” by Jethro Tull

14th December - I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You -  “I’ll Be Right Here Waiting For You” by Bryan Adams

12th December - You Can Stretch It If You Know What I Mean – “Lunch Hour” by Rupert Holmes

6th December - I'll Be Back Again One Day – “Frosty The Snowman” by The Ronettes

5th December - For Your Eyes Caught Mine- “Coming Back Again” by The Kings of Leon

3rd December - A Walk in The Night – “A Walk in the Night” by Junior Walker and the All 
Stars

29th November - Do They Know It's Christmas Time At All?- “Do They Know Its Christmas” by Band Aid

22nd November - It’s Hard To Hold a Candle- “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses

15th November - Any Colour You Like – “Any Colour You Like” by Pink Floyd

9th November - Rise And Look Around You – “On a Clear Day” by The Peddlars

28th October - I'll Never Say Never Again – “Never Say Never“ by Basement Jaxx

26th October - Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont – “99 Luftballoon” by Nina

22nd October - Blowin' Through My Life – “Quiet Storm” by Smokey Robinson

21st October - What Were The Skies Like When You Were Young? – “Fluffy Little Clouds” by The Orb

18th October - One Man On a Lonely Platform - “Fade to Grey” by Visage

12th October - The World Turned Upside Down- “The World Turned Upside Down” by Coldplay

3rd October - I Know You're Out There Somewhere Havin' Fun “Misty Morning” by Bob Marley

30th September - I See Trouble On The Way- “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

28th September - He Played It Left Hand – Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie

23rd September - Do What I Want Because I Can – “Hate To Say I Told You So” by The Hives

21st September - Watch Out, The World's Behind You “Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground

18th September - God Damn, It's So Exciting - “Thunder and Lightning” by Thin Lizzy

13th September - There Ain't No Black Clouds Filled With Rain – “Indian Summer” by Poco

12th September - Gonna Wear No Socks and Shoes – “Black Friday” by Steely Dan

9th September - From a Distance We All have Enough  “From A Distance” by Bette Midler

5th September - Those Wild-Eyed Boys That Had Been Away- “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy

31st August - All Those Dreams and Visions of Mine – “El Matador” by Semisonic

3rd August - Her Daddy Gave Her Magic – “Eyes Right To The Blind” by The Who

29th July - A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All – “For The Benefit Of Mr Kite” by The Beatles

28th July - I've Got Flowers, And Lots of Hours- “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones

25th July - Following In Footsteps Overgrown With Moss – “Happy Hour” by The House Martins

22nd July - Time To Sit Back and Unwind – “Summertime” by Will Smith

14th July - There's So Much You Have To Go Through  - “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens

9th July - But We Haven't Done a Bloody Thing All Day- “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey” by Paul McCartney

2nd July - In The Roarin' Traffic's Boom- “Night and Day” by U2

29th June - Everyone Loves The Sunshine – “Everyone Loves The Sunshine” by Roy Ayers

24th June - When They Said "Sit Down" I Stood Up- “Growin’ Up” by Bruce Springsteen

19th June - So You Finally Got What You Wanted-  “The Butterfly Collector” by The Jam

17th June - Where's Your Mama Gone? –  “Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep Cheep” by Middle of the Road

13th June - From the Midnight Sun Where the Hot Springs Flow – “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin

11th June - When The Evil Of a Snowflake In June – “Mad Mad Moon” by Genesis

7th June - Once In Every Lifetime – “The Young Ones” by Cliff Richard

31st May - And The Flowers And The Trees – “The Birds and The Bees” by DeanMartin

23rd May - I Don't Fly Around Your Flame Anymore – “Moth” by Audioslave

11th May - Her Eyes Burning Bright – “White Hare” by Seth Lakeman

10th May - You Remind Me There's Someone Up There  - “Gust of Wind” by Pharrell

26th April - I Drew a Line For You – “Yellow” by Coldplay

19th April - It's Something to Remind Me – “Wishing (Ihad a Photograph of You) by Flock of 
Seagulls

17th April - The World is a Vampire – “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by The Smashing 
Pumpkins

1st April - Another Day On This Little Island - “Fool’s Day” by Blur

30th March - Things Are Not Always What They Seem – “Can We Still Be Friends” by Todd Rundgren

29th March - Complicating, Circulating- “New Life” by Depeche Mode

22nd March - The Wind Is Pushing The Clouds Along -  “Spirng” by Bill Callahan

16th March - Yesterday I Got So Old – “In Between Days” by The Cure

9th March - Sunshine She’s Here, You Can Take a Break – “Happy” by Pharrell

6th March - But Where It's Going No One Knows – “So It Goes” by Nick Lowe

28th February - Cause You Ain't Usen The Right Bait Man – “Lazy Bones” by Harry Connick Jnr

16th February - Boss, Dat Bird Mean Trouble – “The Buzzard Song” by Ella Fitzgerald

9th February - To Get It Back To Good – “Back To Good” by Matchbox Twenty

28th January - You Think We Look Pretty Good Together – “Substitute” by The Who

10th January - It Seems Like Years Since It's Been Here – “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles

Perhaps one day you will find the playlist on spotify.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

21st December - Winter Is The Glad Song That You Hear.

Today is known as the Winter Solstice, supposedly the shortest day, the truth is though the sunrise and sunsets timings vary over the next few weeks, that the shortest day is not necessarily being the designated Winter Solstice.  Yesterday was bright with some sunshine, and I spent the day walking around the Lower Test Marshes, details can be seen here  This morning though the clouds were much heavier, and it was rather gloomy.  The wind too had picked up, and despite the milder temperatures it still felt cold.

Before we left I watched the two Robins that have set up territory in the garden, they had come a little too close and there was a tense standoff between the feeders.


I decided to set off down towards Telegraph Lane, with the intention to walk around the Newtown Farm.  As we walked it felt as if it would be one of those quiet days, the wind was quite fresh, and with the cloud it was quite dark, in keeping I suppose with "the shortest day".

At the back of the petrol station there is a collection of trees that are well laden with berries.  These have now attracted the interest of the Blackbirds, and we counted at least 10 birds in the vicinity.


We walked along Weathermore Lane, and there was almost nothing about.  I say almost because I did hear a Marsh Tit call from withing the conifers.  That was it though.  I can't remember a time when I have walked so far without anything of note to be seen, it was very strange, but as I said not to be unexpected.

From Weathermore Lane we walked to the crossroads with Willis Lane, and then past the golf course.  Desperate for something to look at I stopped to photograph the buds on this magnolia tree.  They are a little advanced for the time of the year, but it is definitely a slow news day.


We walked down the road towards the farm, the wind was now quite strong, and the dominant sound around us.  There was not even any crows in the fields, and up until two Mallard flew over the only bird we could see was a Woodpigeon on the wires.

When we reached the cattle pens suddenly we were face with a large mixed flock of Chaffinches, and Goldfinches.  They would fly up and sit on the barn roofs, and posts


On the other side there were a few Pied Wagtails, and at least one Meadow Pipit flew past.  We walked on, and found one of the trees at the back of the barns covered in Chaffinch and Goldfinches.  I searched through them in hope of a Brambling, but I could not find one.


Once we left the farm buildings it was back to a bird less scene, we walked through the beech wood, and then to the path that leads to Hawthorn Lane.  It is open here, and you can see across the fields towards Lye Way and Plain Farm, but there was nothing about, no sign of any birds, and even the Woodpigeon were sitting tight.

We crossed to the path leading to Willis Lane, and up past the horse paddocks.  We stopped to watch the antics of a pair of horses, and two Redwing flew over.  At last some birds, so even though they were distant at the top of the tree, I had to take the picture.


We walked up the footpath from Willis where the fields and paddocks are normally very quiet, so I must admit to being surprised when I saw a bird sitting in the paddock.  A closer look revealed a Green Woodpecker.


There were in fact two because as I took this photograph one flew over, and this one joined it.

We walked on, and went into Garthowen, and the cafe for a warming coffee, this is now becoming the habit!

From the cafe we headed back across the field to Blackberry.  The landowner continues cut back the trees for some reason, what was a lovely thick holly hedgerow.

As we came into the houses a Rook was sitting on a TV aerial, and unusually, when I lifted the camera it didn't fly off and I was able to get quite a respectable photograph. 


Rooks are one of my favourite birds, I love watching them, and of course being a corvid are very intelligent.  This picture also gives me the chance to show the difference between them and a crow.  The Rook has the bare patch at the base of the bill which is also much lighter than that of the Crow.  Rooks are the main reason for the scarecrows, as they are more likely to feed on seed in the fields.  In truth they should be called Scarerooks.

So a very quiet walk at the end of the astronomical year.  Hopefully some cold weather, and clear skies will improve the situation, once again I need some motivation, thankfully though we are heading towards a new year, and everything starting again.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

14th December - I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You

Saturday was a cold clear day, with quite a substantial frost.  Sunday morning it was probably a little warmer but there was still a frost, and that pink hue to the sky that is the sign that its cold outside.  The birds were in the garden early, and there were large flocks of Goldfinches.  Though out the day I counted a maximum of 15 birds in the garden.  This one was sitting waiting for its turn to drop down onto the feeders.


The Starlings were never far away from the feeders, and could be seen sitting in the trees outside of the garden, the birds silhouette unmistakable in the trees.


We set off after breakfast and headed down Lymington Rise.  A Jay was in the tree above us, and flew to a more convenient spot to allow me the photograph.


There appears to be a pair hanging around the area, and this was probably one of those birds, they seem to have learnt that there is readily available food available in the gardens.  As we watched the Jay a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew out of the tree and across the road.

Where the surface of the road was wet along Brislands there were patches of ice, but the temperature was definitely warming up, and when you could get in the sunshine it was warming.  I could hear Redwing above us as we walked along the lane, but could not find them.  When I did stop a Great Spotted Woodpecker called above us, and I found it clinging to the branch.  An unusual view, shows the strength of the claws holding on to the branch.


We came out into the open as we walked towards Old Down, the breeze was also noticeable, quite chilling.  There were more stacks of logs lining the entrance to the wood, and the path and verge of the path leading into the wood was very muddy.


This year I had decided to use this view as the "through the year" montage, but unfortunately the scene doesn't seem to have changed very much!

Rather than go into the wood, we carried on down the lane through the Beech tree avenue, the winter sunshine lighting up the way.


We stood and listened, there were several Great Tits about, and they were difficult to see at first, but finally they came down from the tree tops.


As well as the Great Tits I could hear Coal Tits, and Chaffinches, but they stayed at the top of the branches of the tall Beech trees.

Walking down the lane, the sun was picking out the light grey flowers of the Old Man's Beard, turning them into silvery decorations all over the hedges.


The barns at the bottom of the lane are always a good site for a substantial flock of House Sparrows.  As we approached the barns we could hear the sparrows chirping away in the sunshine.  A little closer and you could see them in the hedge and on the barn.  These three were sitting on the gutter.


The Sparrow's chirps resonated from inside the barn, although we couldn't see them, they were clearly up in the roof.  The roof on the outside was also popular, and the sparrows were collecting together there.


As well as the Sparrows there were several Pied Wagtails, and they were looking to feed on the insects that were in and around the outside of the barns.


We walked to the bottom of the lane past the farm buildings.  We passed by to piles of feathers that indicated that we were probably not the only ones to know of the sizable flocks that hangs around the farm.  The feathers seemed to be the work of a Sparrowhawk.

We turned towards Ropley, and looking back you could see the long shadows cast by Old Down wood across the field.  The sun is now at its lowest point in the sky, and barely gets any height.  The positive thing thing though is that after the next few weeks the days will start to draw out.


Weekends are always busy along the Watercress Line, but this time of year sees the "Santa Specials", It seems that more trains are running and all the time we were walking we could hear the whistles of the trains, and the chuffing of the engines as they made their way up and down the line.


The hedges were quiet, apart from the piping call of a hidden Bullfinch.  We turned up the road, and walked though Gilbert Street past the farms and paddocks.  A very grey Blackbird was feeding with "normal" Blackbirds around the horses.  It has the streaks of a female Blackbird, but not the rufous brown colour, this one was a very grey, but was a Blackbird


There was quite a number of Common Gulls in amongst the sheep.


Several though were closer to us, and I watched as this one "danced" on the grass in the hope of attracting worms to the surface.


The huge Beech trees of Swelling Hill are always a good spot to see Nuthatch, there calls coming from the top branches, and if you stand and listen, if they don't call you can hear them hammering away on the branches, probably at a nut wedged in a crack.  Today they were confiding, and I managed to get a good view of this one.


There were the first signs of Snowdrops in the verge, this always being the spot o find them first.  Maybe this year they will be out before the turn of the year.  Some flowers that were out though was a surprise, a little clump of Primroses.


It was cold, but not as cold as Saturday, so I was surprised to see ice on the pond.  The area is very sheltered and with the low sun, it was probably left over from Saturday's frost.  When the sun di make it through the branches it set sparkles over surface of the ice.


We walked around the pond, again in the hope of flushing something, but as usual nothing did.

We walked down the road towards Kitwood.  I noticed that at last the the trees are bare, it seems to have happened all of a sudden, the recent storms clearing the last leaves away.  It makes it easier to see the birds, but still the Redwings manage to disappear when they fly in.

We headed along Kitwood, but for once there were no Thrushes in the hedge and trees on the corner.  However as we came around the corner I noticed a Kestrel sitting on the wire.  Its that time of year when the Kestrels give up hovering and take advantage of any post or wire to look and wait for prey to appear in the long grass.  This bird was so intently looking down into the grass we were able to get quite close.


There is always a point though when you get too close and the bird realises its not alone.


But even though we were now quite close it was still intent on watching the field.


It did eventually fly off as we walked past, but didn't go far and perched up on a pole.  As we passed again it flew back to the wire, there was obviously something in the field that had caught its eye.

A few moments later we heard another Kestrel calling, and then two birds flew past us, and we watched them fly into a distant tree.

We walked on around Kitwood, then down to Hawthorne lane.  From here we walked up Willis Lane, and immediately came across a small flock of Redwing.  Once again it was easier to hear them than see them, and when you did manage to locate them they would perform their disappearing act again.  Finally I managed to find one in the open, although you would only know by the flash of red in the wing.


Along the footpath a Buzzard soared in the distance, and then just seemed to disappear, a few Rooks were also feeding in the fields

We headed to Garthowen Garden centre, and a latte at the Tree House, then it was back towards Blackberry Lane though the field, and eventually home, where Christmas presents awaited us for wrapping.  Today was a day for waiting for things to come to you, a few are there if you are patient.